Chaparral currant

Ribes malvaceum


The Chaparral currant is a tough deciduous shrub that naturally occurs in coastal areas of California. It can grow 4-6 ft. tall and produces small clusters of fragrant rose colored flowers in the spring. Medium green leaves have rough surfaces, serrated margins and three lobes.

The Chaparral currant is a good understory plant around the Coast live oak in combination with coffeeberry, toyon, manzanita and ceanothus. It provides both nectar and edible berries for birds, as well as attractive flowering for garden value. A number of cultivars can be found from time to time, including: R. m. ‘Ortega Rose’ that produces light pink flowers, R. m. ‘Outback’ has deep pink flowers, and R. m. ‘Cristy Ridge’ grows white and soft pink colored flowers.

Plant Type: Shrub
Foliage Character: Winter deciduous, Drought deciduous
Growth Rate: Moderate
Foliage Color: Medium green
Flower Color: Pink
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Silt, Loam, Clay
Exposure Adaptations: Moderate shade, Partial sun
Function: Wildlife value, Residential spaces, Hummingbird plant, Foundations, Flowering accent plant, California native, Banks, Background plant, Fragrant flowers, Attracts butterflies
Height: 4 ft. – 6 ft.
Width: 4 ft. – 6 ft.